When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from France, the Toulouse-based techno talent Space 92 (aka Mathieu Mourareau).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? I am based in the beautiful countryside near the city Toulouse in France. I’m far from traffic and noise, surrounded by nature and wide-open fields as far as the eye can see. I spend most of my time producing new tracks in my studio and watching movies and series on Netflix
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? I really started the Space 92 project in March last year when the first lockdown happened, and everything has been closed since then, so I haven’t really missed much. Nowadays the situation has improved and the prospects for dates in Europe and internationally are becoming clearer.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? I produced and released a lot of music during the several lockdowns that took place in France. This allowed me to entertain people, I think; in any case I did my best. The income generated by these tracks has helped me hold on until life goes back to normal and activities resume. This period definitely taught me that life is fragile and that it is necessary above all to stay close to family and friends.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? My latest release is a three-song EP called “The Game.” During this whole period, I wanted to be very active with my community and fans, so I released music about every other month. I’m still trying to keep up that pace, which will obviously slow down when gigs come back. I do want to keep a steady pace of at least one release every three months, though.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? My setup has changed a lot over the years. I used to work on a lot of vintage hardware like Moog or Juno, but nowadays I’m into a much more minimalist setup with VSTs only that allows me to produce the sounds I have in mind. Currently, my favorite VST is Serum and I have been using Ableton Live as my DAW for 12 years now with its Ableton Push controller and Genelec monitoring speakers.
What’s your creation process in the studio? It varies from one time to another. Sometimes, I start with the structure – that is to say, the rhythmic part. Then, the ideas come to me later concerning the rest of the track body. Also, sometimes I start with melody idea/base I had in mind and then I construct all the elements around that melody. Globally, the process really depends on my mood and what I’m feeling at the moment when I’m creating the music.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? My current set-up is simple – two CDJ-3000 players, a DJM-900NXS2 mixer and a DJ RMX-1000 Remix Station, all from Pioneer DJ. I used to work a lot with a Native Instruments Traktor laptop/controller set-up, but I later learned how to mix with vinyl turntables.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I realized that we, humans, are not much. We can have all the best researchers in the world or the most advanced technology, but nature is always stronger than us and I think that we had a pretty rough wake-up call.
Have you done anything online recently? I did a bunch of live-streams, but I think the most important one was the live-stream I did end of 2020 in the city of Carcassonne. It has the largest medieval fortress in France and it’s incredibly impressive. You can watch it on YouTube if you are curious!
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I think the most appropriate one is by a band I love: Nirvana’s “Stay Away.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Work out, go outside and breathe in fresh air, refocus on yourself and stay positive. Things will get better and everything will settle down sooner or later.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2021 by DJ Publishing, Inc. www.djtimes.com